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Key Points to Improve Your Skating
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toronto hockey - skating tipsA few simple concepts can go a long way towards

improving your skating

. Without the basic fundamentals you won't get the most out your stride.Number one point, Bend at the Knees! This is the most important concept needed for

better skating

. As simple as it is, when observing just about any low level hockey game you'll find many upright skaters. Conversely, many of the best hockey players that have ever played the game, Gretzky and Lemieux are just two world class players that skated with a very deep knee bend. A deep knee bend will get all your body weight on each push. No matter what the stride you are doing, make every attempt to bend your knees. Bending your knees allows you to take advantage of one of the most powerful groups of muscle in your body. The more downward pressure you apply over the skate, the faster you will go and your power will improve dramatically. The lower you bend your knees, while keeping your back straight, the better everything becomes. You will be able to extend your pushing leg more for better power on the forward and backward strides. Your balance will improve, as will the power and control of your stride. For reference, a proper deep knee bend should extend about two inches over the toes of your skates.

Donít Bend Your Back
Be sure to bend your knees and not your back. This is a common mistake that will create a whole new set of bad habits. By leaning too far forward or bending at the waist, and not at the knees, your upper body will throw off your balance. This will create problems, such as not being able to center your body weight, allowing you to get knocked over easily. Tip, try to keep your hands above your knees, which should help you keep your back straight and your head up.

Full Extension
When making a stride, you must learn to fully extend your pushing leg, and return it back under your body. This way the next stride begins directly under your body, which is your center of gravity. By doing this you are able to get 100% body weight on each push.

One Hand Vs. Two Hands On The Stick
Obviously, when you shoot, pass, or receive a pass you need to have two hands on the stick. However, when you are skating, with or without the puck, or skating backwards you should try to maintain one hand on the stick. By doing so you will be able to fully extend your arms, and get full leg extension out of your stride. Your balance will also improve with one hand on the stick.

Like many concepts perfect practice makes perfect. Making a conscious effort during practice and games using these few simple concepts will improve your skating stride. Giving you the foundation to take your game to another level.

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